It is a striking coincidence that the leading treatises on copyright law in the United States and the United Kingdom are each works where a son succeeded father as author. The American work’s line of succession is the more simple and direct: in 1985 on his father’s death, David Nimmer as- sumed authorship of the treatise that Melville B. Nimmer first published in 1963. The British work, Copinger on Copyright, was first published in 1870, and its authorship descended first from W.A. Copinger to his son-in- law J.M. Easton in 1904, and then from Easton’s successor F.E. Skone James to his son E.P. Skone James in 1965 on F.E.’s death.

The contrasts are equally striking. The current two-volume edition of what is now Copinger & Skone James on Copyright is updated by three barristers, with two more assisting. David Nimmer remains as sole author of Nimmer & Nimmer on Copyright’s ten volumes. Hercules needs no help. Nor did Melville Nimmer before him. His book was his own. That, as we shall see below, is only relatively true of Copinger’s first edition.